File:Signature of Scott Joplin.svg|thumb|right|Signature of Scott Joplin
'''Scott Joplin''' (; 1867/68 – April 1, 1917) was an African-American
composer and pianist. Joplin achieved fame for his ragtime
compositions and was dubbed the "King of Ragtime Writers".
During his brief career, he wrote 44 original classic rag|ragtime pieces
, one ragtime ballet, and two operas. One of his first pieces, the "Maple Leaf Rag
", became ragtime's first and most influential hit, and has been recognized as the archetypal rag.
Joplin was born into a musical family of railway laborers in Northeast Texas
, and developed his musical knowledge with the help of local teachers. Joplin grew up in Texarkana, Texas|Texarkana
, where he formed a vocal quartet, and taught mandolin and guitar. During the late 1880s he left his job as a laborer with the railroad, and travelled around the Southern United States|American South